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Commentary: Note to Janet Napolitano: Be Careful About Trying to Hoodwink the Public

Janet Napolitano/bill maher show
Janet Napolitano/bill maher show

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano and the Obama administration learned a valuable public relations lesson in this latest incident involving the Detroit terror incident: Don’t try to hoodwink the public with positive spin– at least not on something so obvious.

Napolitano came out after the Christmas Day incident involving  a Northwest flight and said “the system worked”.  It seemed to have the same ring of credibility as Bill Clinton’s infamous remark:  “I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky.”

Snow job. (Or in Clinton’s case, the other kind of job).  Both had a cost: a loss of credibility.

Sure, Napolitano backed off her statement and said it was taken out of context. She says she was referring to the response after the incident. And then President Obama stepped up to the plate on Tuesday and conceded that the system had failed.

But some damage was done. You only get so many chances in this unforgiving town. Be careful how you use up those credibility chips. In many instances, once they’re gone, so are you.


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